Ksenia, Prymelia


Post weyrling graduation to seniors, a pair of women make each other’s acquaintance and go on an adventure.


It is the seventh day of the seventh month of the second turn of the 12th pass.


Southern Weyr, Cove and Lower River Lands

OOC Date


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A saber's curl along the coast of the Azov Sea, the cove is a clash of green and black; where deeply forested jungles encroach upon the curving expanse of this tiny cove, found only past the rocky barrier that serves as demarcation between cove and beach. Lacking the softly ground sand of the beach, the cove is made up of dark, volcanic pebbles, making it trickier to navigate than the beach itself. Yet, what a surprise is given if one braves the less comfortable path that curves around a long-forgotten cinder cone to find the quiet tranquility of seclusion. Brilliant against the black pebbled beach, greenery is only enhanced by the purest of turquoise waters, warmed by a deep volcanic vent and churned by hidden currents that further feeds into the relative calm of the sea itself. The rainbow fish and yellowfish is plentiful beneath the waves.

A bright winter's day is something to be treasured here in Southern, in the midst of the ever present rainy season of autumn and winter. The boardwalk is flashy with stalls and shops and people, and there's revelry on the beach with the weyrlings all tumbling from the weyr with baskets in tow. However, the cove is a different story. Quieter and mostly empty but for a woman who stands at the edge of the water. She's got her shirt hiked up and seems to be fiddling with something on her belly — or around her belly — muttering darkly. The occasional sniffle comes from what sounds like a stuffy nose. The shirt worn is of a santorini blue — a vibrance, deep blue the color of a cold ocean. She's got a flouncy, layered skirt in brilliant white to complete the vibrancy of color to contrast against the dark cheery of her hair that spills down her back. The length is full and shiny — shinier than any woman's hair has a right to be. Sometimes, it's good to have all those extra hormones doing all that extra good. "Al…most…got…it." She's obviously fighting with something. In a pique, she dances on the balls of her feet, almost as if she's chasing herself around. "Dang you…!!!"

Down along the beach, still wearing her uniform with that wingsecond knot attached though with pants legs rolled up and her boots tied together by the laces and slung about her neck, Prymelia wanders. Passed her clutchmates happily celebrating with friends and family, further and further away, a basket in one hand and a bottle of unopened booze in another until the sounds of revelry fade amidst the surge of the sea ebbing and flowing along the shoreline. Behind her, with as much dignity as soft sand will allow for, meanders a stately green keeping a close eye on her unusually quiet rider. Upon dark lashes glitters what might be seaspray her gaze cast only as far ahead as her next step takes her. Suddenly a voice cuts through melancholy and the weyrling’s head jerks up. Almost on top of the beautiful woman she comes to a quick halt and recognition dawns. The Weyrleader’s weyrmate. Kasie. Enya. Something. “Ma’am?” She opts for safe ground. “Are you okay?”

Ksenia twirls around, though not at Prymelia's voice, no it's like she's trying to chase her own waist. What Prymelia's voice does do is call a halt to her shenanigans so that she can blink tawny eyes at the Weyrling as if somehow Prym just landed on the beach like a space man. "Ma'am?" Cue another owlish blink. "Ksenia, please. I'm no ma'am." Those eyes narrow a bit on that knot, as if weighing her options against looking foolish or having this dragonrider possibly go running to Cha'el with stories. Finally, she heaves a sigh and throws her hands up in the air. She sniffles too. "I'm too fat for my skirt. It's finally happened. I'm too fat for my skirt and now my chain is stuck in the button and I can't get it unstuck without — well, I can't really see it all to well cause of my gut." It is true that Ksenia has a roundness coming from her lower belly, but on the eve of her fourth month, the roundness is taking shape to be less "fat" and more "baby" but the chain she mentions is caught up i the skirt that's only been able to be fastened under the woman's gut. The chain itself isn't too tight (yet), but given the angle in which it's caught tup in the fasteners of the skirt, it's digging into the flesh of her hips as it dips downward to hook onto the skirt that's barely able to be fastened. Essentially, she's got one mother of a muffin top.

A faint smile makes an appearance at the correction made. “You are the Weyrleader’s ‘mate. He is, Sir. So therefore, you are, Ma’am.” Prymelia explains herself. “Well met, Ksenia. I’m,” she sees to where the other woman’s eyes dart and lifting a hand to her shoulder, she slips the knot off and drops it into her basket, “Prymelia. Green Issaeryth’s.” The elegant celadon creature behind her indicated who in return, drops her head and utters a whuffle in greeting. “Fat? Tsk.” With her mother midwife to the women of her clan, the weyrling easily recognizes that swell of belly for what it is. “You’re not fat. You’re beautiful.” She states and setting her basket down and the unopened bottle next to it, takes a step forward and gestures at the caught chain. “May I?” For she’ll not just rush in where her help may not be wanted. “And may I say, congratulations. You must both be very excited.” From behind her, the dragon utters what sounds suspiciously like a draconic snicker for it elicits a grumbled, ‘Shut up’, from the redhead.

The removal of her knot has Ksenia giving Prymelia a side-eyed look, but it does seem to ease some of her discomfort. "Psh. Cha'el is Cha'el. Insufferable man, always meddling into the affairs of — oh would you?" As soon as Prymelia offers, the trader's jutting her hips forward and placing her hands on her belly as if she could just heave the thing flatter. "You're too kind, but say it like it is. I'm only going to get fatter." She's apparently not the most maternal creature. "It's starting to freak me out that I'm growing something alive in my belly. Not that I've not done it once before, but. Different circumstances…" She rambles a little, peering over the rounded swell of her baby bump. "You got it?" Does she happen to be all alone? Jo isn't any where to be seen, at least. "Hey I heard you graduated…" this is said hesitantly as if she's got the wording wrong, "…. today. Cha'el mentioned something or other about something or other and then started in on lecturing how this and that and weyrlings and a weyr. Truth be told, I was planning dinner through it so I rightly don't remember exactly. Except that you get to be a different flavor of weyrling than you were before, yesyes?"

Amusement deepens slightly in the twitch of pretty lips. “Aren’t they all?” Insufferable men. Given the go ahead, Prymelia drops to her knees in the sand and with brows knitting together in concentration, she quickly finds the problem, unsnags the chain from the button and then, seeing the charm dangling from it, settles it toward the front. “That’s really pretty.” She notes of the gold pendant and standing brushes the sand from her knees. “Mmmm. Must feel like that.” She commiserates on getting fatter. “You and the Weyrleader have another child?” Surprised for she’d not seen or heard anything about it. Then again, weyrlinghood is pretty much a nonstop merry-go-round of duties, studies and lectures, the latter topic earning Ksenia a lopsided grin. “Don’t tell anyone,” she shares leaning in slightly, voice dropping to a conspiratorial level, “but when K’ane starts in droning on and on about why its so important to always, always,” her voice deepens in mimicry there, “check our straps, I kinda zone out too.” Sending the other woman a cheeky wink, Prymelia cuts a roll of eyes back to her green for the reprimand sent to her. “Any way. Aye, we get to have our own weyrs now, so no more bunking down with a bunch of smelly teenaged boys.”

"For Faranth's sake, the man's name is Cha'el. Say it with me, now. Cha-yaeeel." Ksenia has little respect for ranks, mind, and in her mind Cha'el is a dumbass male (whom she loves very dearly, but still, men tend to be dumb creatures) with a fancy knot that means he gets to lord his bad self over people (not that he does, but he could). Now that the chain is freed, she has a sigh of relief. The rounded swell of her belly isn't all that big, but it's just awkward enough that it was making the detanglement into an issue. "Thank you," she murmurs of the charm but gives no further explanation, and instead goes right into, "No, I have another child… but it's a long story and she's not with me." Refusing to let a shadow fall between them, the conspiratorial confession is given the bright lift of golden-caramel eyes to Prymelia's hazel ones. "A girl after my own heart, here. Lectures are so boring!" Resettling her top over her skirt, she's able to fully focus her attention upon the weyrling, "What are you going to do to celebrate?" This of course is a question that must be posed. "Can I tell you a little secret?"

Ksenia’s insistence cracks through the last of that melancholic reserve and finds the weyrling uttering a laugh. “Fine, fine. He’s Cha-yaeeel.” The other woman’s elongation of the name is carefully copied. Up arch elegantly shaped brows at mention of another child not currently with her but Prymelia doesn’t pry for its not uncommon for riders children to be fostered out even if she doesn’t personally agree with the practice. “Aye,” she agrees on lectures. “Just say it and move on. No need to flog the runner to death.” A pause and then: “Celebrate?” Back along the way she’d come she casts a glance over her shoulder to where the party is in full swing. “Uhhh…” Hazel regard drops to the unopened bottle. “Well…I did think about just getting shitfaced but then Issa started having a hissy fit about that. Besides. Its not much fun doing so on your own. There’s a blanket in there. And some marshmallows. We could maybe build a fire?” And then Ksenia says the one thing guaranteed to grab Prymelia’s attention. “A secret?” Gaze aglow with curiosity now.

Ksenia is a very gregarious and joy-seeking woman, so it's no wonder that she loops an arm through Prymelia's and while she glances at Issaeryth, dragons are still enough of a mystery that she turns the full brunt of her tawny eyes towards the other woman. "You did a good job of that. Too much huffinstuffin 'round the 'ranked' riders just gets their egos in a twist. Why, look at K'ane. Another arrogant male, although I'm getting to know him better. I kind of have to, since our daughter is almost going to be three in just a spare, two months." That inspires a moment of sadness, but alas! Not a day for sadness. "Cha'el has deemed it that I must always have a guard with me. A nanny, so to speak. I've ditched the nanny. It was quite a feat, having to dash around and pretend to be sick and have an appointment in the infirmary." Suddenly, she stops, and tugs Prymelia to a stop as well. "You aren't the sort to go run and tell, are you?" She pauses and lowers her voice, "Because what Cha'el doesn't know really can't hurt him." Right? "Now, a fire and marshmallows sounds lovely…" There's a 'but' coming. "If you've a mind for a little bit of exploring, I think maybe a trip into the jungles would be much more the thing. I can hunt." It's a boast. "But also, I've heard of a cave filled with old booze left by some mountain men. I've been secretly gathering together some information and well… I've got a map. But see it's far away." This time she eyes Air Issaeryth. "And while I might be able to ditch Jo, there's no way Stuffy Pants isn't going to not notice if I'm gone over night while riding a runner into the jungles." So after that long, convoluted explanation, the trader woman is offering the brightest of smiles. "So. You interested?" In apparently helping a pregnant woman get booze, because that sounds real healthy for her.

“You know K’ane…” And suddenly Prymelia busts out with a laugh, having to press her fingers to her lips to shove it back in before it becomes a very unladylike guffaw. “Your other child is with…” Another snort of laugher erupts through her nose due to her mouth being clamped shut. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Its just…” For some reason, this is HIGHLY amusing to the weyrling. Trying for gravity she clears her throat and then rolls her eyes. “He makes you have a nanny!? Are you shitting me? You’re a full grown woman why on Pern.” Abruptly she cuts off for it’s not her place to question her boss’ reasons. But…a NANNY?? Men are ridiculous! “Ooooooh.” The redhead breathes out at Ksenia’s suggestion of ADVENTURE. “Do you have the map with you?” Oh she’s warming to this idea alright. “I’m not sure that we’re allowed to carry passengers yet and you’d be our first but Issa’s bigger than most Nowtime greens so…” There she pauses and falls into conference with her green. “Issaeryth said it would be her pleasure to convey the Weyrleader’s ‘mate to wherever she wishes to go.” Leaning closer, her arm hooked through Ksenia’s, she whispers, “She’s a bit of a snob and considers you to be on the same level as a Blooded Holder so just go with it, aye?” As if the green can’t totally HEAR THAT!!

Ksenia isn't sure how to take that, truth be told, for her tawny eyes narrow dangerously. "I left K'ane naked and without all his marks after seducing him to try and wiggle out of a marriage I didn't want. Didn't work, but. I had a child I didn't get to keep from it." A truth that she must face. Anyway. While she gets the privilege of berating Cha'el (and K'ane) she's not entirely sure that Prymelia gets that same privilege. "Well there are reasons," she allows, coming to Cha'el's defense, "but it is mostly ridiculous to not have any free time alone. I just want some peace and quiet." In the jungles, risking their lives, see. "Come now, of course I have the map with me, what kind of proposition would that be if I didn't? If I even dared to set foot close to the weyr, Cha'el's going to be right there, just waiting to lecture me." K'ane, too, if he caught wind. "Our secret, yes yes?" Ksenia draws herself up to her fullest height, the cloak of regality falling around her easily. "You may tell her that I am a First Daughter in a long, unbroken line of First Daughters of the Roma Caravan, and that unbroken line dates back to before the comet fell on Pern." No, she won't be claiming no Blooded Holder! She is Roma through and through! The hauteur — which Ksenia does actually do very well — slips to allow a grin. "I'm not so good with heights, but I'm sure we won't fall. Besides, it's just a hop, skip and jump — okay you can't between." She pats her slightly rounded belly. "But it's not really that far away and remember. We cannot tell Cha'el." Beat. "But we can't lie either." A sigh is heaved. "You have to get around the man by just occluding the truth." She's probably the wrong person to be influencing malleable weyrlings in regards to how best lie to their Weyrleader! She undermines! "K'ane too." Because K'ane is JUST as much of a busybody, meddlesome male.

Sorry, Ksenia. Excuse Prymelia while her complexion turns a delightful shade of red. Not from embarrassment, no. But rather because she’s CHOKING on laughter. “You left him…Hahahaha…naked and….Bahahaha…broke?” Up goes her free hand in a gesture of high five should the other woman know what that means or how to meet it while she just gives in to mirth for a few moments. Recovering her breath, “Girl, I LIKE how you operate!” Fanning her free hand in front of her face to try and cool the heat of laughter, the weyrling nods with relative solemnity. “Oh I’m sure he has his reasons.” Most men claim to. But when Ksenia offers her bloodline up, the redhead goes quite still and the smile that appears is one of warmth that occurs when like meets like. “Well then, Ksenia First Daughter of the Roma,” apparently Issaeryth is impressed too for she utters a low croon, “it seems you and I have more in common than I realized. I am the eldest daughter of the leader of the Flynn clan currently out of Igen, dating back all the way to before the comet. And I hear you on the matter of arranged marriages. So, good for you!” A dark little smile appears and then is tucked away again. And then a snort. “You have to get around most men by economizing the truth, sweetie. Never you worry,” she pats the other woman’s arm, “Men are like runners. It’s all about knowing when to use the spurs and when to dangle the carrot. Or more truthfully, when to let them think they get to dangle their carrots.” Smirk. “Come on then, lets go find this cave of booze of yours. But, I get a cut of the sales, aye?” She may be a weyrling now, but she’s still got a trader’s heart and will ever find an angle to work.

"Every fancypants dragonrider can be left with nothing but their considerable pride to walk them home," Ksenia comments primly, with a shared look with the other girl. Although, Prymelia is also a dragonrider which has not escaped Ksenia's notice here. However, she's had very little dealings with female dragonriders and it shows in the curious way she watches the green weyrling. Mysteriously does the Roma trader curve her lips into a sweet smile while hooking her arm through Prymelia's again, "Then we are a good pair, yeh?" Slanting a look to the girl, she tugs her towards Issaeryth. "I won't tell and you won't tell and surely your dragon won't tell, right?" Beat. "I'm known as Ksenia, and I know just how to work Cha'el when it comes to his…" sly is the look drifted towards Prymelia, "… zucchini." Carrot is apparently not large enough, because that is a detail that Prymelia wants to know, right? She might be joking, if the cheshire cat grin she's got going on is an indication thereof. When it comes to wheeling and dealing, Ksenia treats this seriously. "You may take home a barrel," she concedes, side-eyeing Prymelia, "if there is more than one. If there's only one, we'll split it. I'm not aiming to sell it, so you can do what you want with your part. If there's three or more, I get two thirds of the amount. I want to get it bottled if it's that good. See, I — well — I destroyed all of Cha'el's fancy liquors and I don't think I'll ever be able to replace them, so I might as well hunt around for stuff that's just as good." A momentary frown settles on her expression, the memory of all those pretty liquors surfacing through her thoughts.

Amusement is followed by the upward arch of an elegant brow at Ksenia’s first for the last thing the weyrling views herself as, is fancy. “Issa won’t tell, will you, darling?” She asks of the silent green as she finds herself dragged along in her direction. Arch, the look Prymelia is sent suggesting that perhaps her dragon isn’t altogether pleased with this turn of events. But she doesn’t argue. Instead she flattens herself as close to the ground as possible so as to make mounting easier for her first ever passenger. “Zucchini, eh?” Oh yeah, the weyrling caught that one alright and even goes so far as to give an impish waggle of brows. Stopped at Issaeryth’s side, the deal offered is absorbed and given a brief span of thought, crafty mind turning over the pros and cons until she nods with a grin. “Sounds fair to m…you destroyed his booze? How?” See how she assumes it was an accident by not asking ‘Why?’ first.

It's a little strange mounting an unknown dragon, but Issaeryth is not yet full grown and while passenger straps probably aren't in play yet, Ksenia is too used to Cha'el riding bareback — so to speak — and besides, they aren't going very far. Hop and a skip over the river, see. "I was being chased and I used them as ammunition." This comes with a thin-lipped look and a shiver. "Bottles of booze make good weapons if you can manage to hit with them, but if they are only half or partially full it's hard to make them smack into their target." It's a bit clinical of an assessment, but it masks the emotion well enough. As far as what she compared Cha'el's manhood too, well, that just earns the primmest of smiles and no verbal agreement or denial. "Okay, so here's the map," the rumpled bit of hide is produced from the pocket of the white skirt and presented to Prymelia, one well-manicured fingernail pointing to where 'x' marks the spot. "We gotta get there, but that's on foot. The opening, from what I can gather, is here, just past the Caspian lake." See? Straight flight! "Then I've been told it's a three hour hike up the mountains and deep into the jungles. I'd bring my bow and arrows, but if I get caught without Jo or by Jo, I'm going to get trapped and never be able to leave." Overly dramatic as it may sound, but there's a kernel of fear that she might just get chained to the weyr for this stunt. Eh. A mental shrug later and she's excitedly adding, "I've been told that these barrels of alcohol have been sitting for twenty-five turns."

Checking the strapping that Issaeryth is currently adorned with – K’ane’s droning has sunk in – Prymelia sets Ksenia with a closer look and then a dark little smile appears. “If you break the bottle against something hard, it makes a real good makeshift knife too.” Which probably makes her sound like some or other cutthroat. Peering down at the map, Ksenia pulls out; she takes in the markings of where they need to aim for in flight and then on foot and nods. “Alright. We’ve flown over there before.” With an assistant weyrlingmaster in tow but the other woman doesn’t need to know that, right? “Right, now you get up there and strap yourself in,” she assumes Ksenia to be familiar with such things given that she is the Weyrleader’s ‘mate, “and then I’ll come up behind you. One question though.” And this she’ll ask while her passenger gets situated, Issaeryth ever so politely holding out a forepaw to make it easier. “If we find these barrels…how will we get them back?”

Issaeryth and her forepaw are given a quick, surprised look. Muttering beneath her breath, Ksenia notes, "Sikorth needs to learn that trick." The look shot to Prymelia is not one of caution but one of assessment as if Ksenia never considered to break a bottle and poke someone with the sharp ends of the remaining half. "I'll have to remember that," she murmurs, but really, they're about to go get some barrels of really old booze. That takes focus. Ksenia is used to climbing atop Sikorth, but she's not really used to situating herself on a dragon, and so it might become apparent that someone kind of gets spoiled when she takes the end of a strap and tries to wind it around her middle. All she does is try to tie herself in knots, see. "Can your Issaeryth," her trader's accent lilts in a rolling cadence across the green's name, "carry them out one by one in her feet? Or maybe we can just find the cave today and then figure out how to carry out the booty afterwards. I can't imagine it's going to easy to do."

It takes a few moments for Prymelia to realize her assumptions had been incorrect when she sees the other woman fumbling with the ends of the straps. Careful to keep amusement internalized, she hauls herself up Issaeryth’s side and settling behind Ksenia takes the leather from her. “Here, let me. They can be a bit tricky sometimes.” For she’ll not humiliate a new friend, especially not one with a bounty of booze to share. Straps snugly fitted about the dark-haired woman, the redhead suddenly slithers back down to the ground and gathers up her basket. Holding them up, there’s a crooked grin. “No adventure is complete without a picnic.” Finally settled back into place there’s a bit of consultation that goes on between dragon and rider as to where they’re going and then with a quick glance around lest there be another dragon somewhere in the vicinity to report these goings on, Issaeryth gathers herself. “Hold on tight!” Prymelia states with glee in her voice and smooth as a ballerina shucking gravity to leap gracefully into the air, the sturdy green lifts up.

It is good that Prymelia doesn't point out Ksenia's failings with the straps, not only because of the woman's pride (of which she has a lot) but also because it would probably give the woman pause long enough to start really considering what she's doing. Instinctively, her hands settle over that little bulge of her belly in what can only be a gesture of protection. "We can eat while we stare at the riches of our find," Ksenia quips with laughter trilling out. She does, however, grip onto those straps when they take to the air and it really does take all of her considerable will to not throw up all over the poor green's neck and shoulders. Tawny eyes remain squeezed shut as deep breaths shudder in and out of her body, drawing up the narrow, delicate shoulders and causing her head to bend down. Someone is afraid of heights. And someone's alien in her belly is giving it upset. But luckily, with all things being equal, she will be able to land without incident.

Before now its Prymelia that has always been the passenger, safe in the care of another. And so, with the tables turned, the responsibility of having another in her care (and one that could get her into some serious trouble if her ‘mate finds out what they’re up to), is a nerve-wracking experience. Calling on those considerable trader skills of hers that allow her to wear whatever mask is appropriate, the weyrling is the picture of steadfast calm and wraps her arms about Ksenia. “Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.” She advises quietly as Issaeryth, taking a little time to adjust to the weight of two, gets herself together and silently wings her way toward their destination. Prymelia, somewhat of a daredevil, scans the swift pass of vegetation below, correcting her green here and there until soon a break in the treeline is spotted just a little way in from the lake. “We’re going down,” she thinks to warn Ksenia just moments before the green backwings and comes to a rather elegant landing. Okay, there is a gust of wind that swooshes the tops of trees outward and perhaps the crack of a branch as her tail catches it. But otherwise? Not too bad.


Lower River Lands
As the land slopes away from the upper river plateaus, the drier climate slowly takes over from the savannas to the distant east. Lushness gives way to plants that live in the domain between desert and jungle. Rocks jut up from the dusty ground, bounded by scrub and the shorter, more tolerant grasses of a more arid climate. In the distance, the verdant greenery of the jungles of the upper mountains provide a stark backdrop against the golds and browns of the lower lands of the river. What little life-giving water makes it down this far is consumed by the scraggly plants before giving way to true desert-ridden savanna.

Having another's arms around her is a strange sensation, though Ksenia's very grateful for the green rider's suggestion as she almost heaves up her lunch on the green's back. It's the height, see, and the fact that the hormones coursing through her body and all the extra blood pumping through her veins put her system on a tilt-a-whirl. "Almost there…" Muttered just before she's warned they're about to go down, which elicits the rising squeal of fright as the wind swirls around her and teases the dark cherry of her hair. For a single moment, she feels death in that downward plunge even with her eyes squeezed shut and she thinks that maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all. Until Issaeryth lands with ease and slowly one eye opens and then another. "Oh!" They've landed! And this gets one more bracing gasp before she turns back to Prymelia, excitement dancing in eyes of tawny caramel. "Not too bad. Now, are you ready for a hike? Will she be okay waiting here?" Because even not full grown, there's no way a green dragon will be able to squeeze through the trail. The trail itself is set off, southwards, from the Caspian Lake — which can be seen from a distance — as merely a break in the jungled treeline, the soft sand and dirt from the flowing Black Rock River slowly blending into the dirt and loam of the jungle itself. "The trailhead, I think, is that one right there."

Just as well Prymelia isn’t aware of her passenger’s fear of heights or she might well have rethought this jaunt. The fact that she’s pregnant appears to be something the weyrling seems okay to overlook at the moment for to her mind, Ksenia is pregnant, not terminally ill or about to shatter into a thousand pieces. Swiftly unbuckling the restraints from about her co-adventurer, the redhead grins. “It has been way, way too long.” Dropping to the ground, she checks over the contents of her basket while she waits for the exotic woman to join her. “Issa will be fine.” The green utters a snort, still unsure about this little escapade. “Won’t you, darling?” In other words, she’s being TOLD to be fine. “Ready?” Anticipation is writ across lightly freckled features. “Lets go claim our fortune.” And off Prymelia goes toward the trailhead pointed out though she’ll happily let Ksenia lead the way since this is her idea.

See, Cha'el could learn a thing or two from Prymelia! Namely that pregnancy doesn't suddenly turn one into a child of glass. Ksenia's grin is wide after she's found her feet on firm ground, traveling as man was meant to: by foot! "Let's go!" She gives a short bob to Issaeryth, before hands dig into the pale fabric of her white skirt (this skirt is so not surviving) and hiking it up so that she can plunge head-first onto the jungle's path. The path itself is rocky and strenuous, at times winding through the mountainous jungle in climbs that require some forward thinking, hand-holding and sometimes backtracking. A candlemark slips by as easy conversation is shared between the two girls. Another candlemark slips by. At some point a rest is taken, but the Roma trader woman is eager to find the cave, see. As Rukbat waxes into the afternoon sky, however, that stated nap time bears down on Ksenia like the shadow of Cha'el and she catches herself yawning here and there, but on the whole, since the second trimester hit energy has not dipped as low. "I think," breathless the voice that comes once the third candlemark has slipped by, "we should be getting close. It might not be right off the pathway, so we need to start looking for any breaks in the rocks and shrubbery." Hot and sweaty — for even in winter, exertion will flush cheeks and cause sweat to dribble — she turns to Prymelia and then casts her eyes upwards where the canopy of the jungle mutes the afternoon light.

Thankfully, Prymelia doesn’t currently have the marks at her disposal to have ordered or bought the cloth for a new uniform as some of the others had done for graduation. Thus she’s not too bothered by the few snags pushing through the bushes and trees have caused or the damp patches of sweat showing through. Hair carefully braided in neat rows against her skull and tied at the back of her head, hasn’t fared as well leaving tendrils plastered against her forehead and cheeks. But at least she’s not huffing and puffing thanks to months of enforced PT and when Ksenia pauses and glances upwards, so does she, marking the path of the sun above toward mid-afternoon. “I was thinking, when,” not if, “we find that cave and those barrels, we can just roll them down the path to Issa. I don’t think she’d be able to get in here without flattening everything.” She notes, scanning the area to their sides and up ahead for any sign of the cave’s mouth. “You doing alright there?” Maybe she’s noted the yawning. Or perhaps she is giving some consideration to Ksenia’s condition.

"When," Ksenia's palm presses to the rock while she gathers her breath from the exertion of the climb. Normally in good physical condition, the kidnapping and then subsequent softer life of living in Cha'el's weyr has turned the Weyrleader's scrappy alley cat into a rather well cared for feline that's lost some of the hardened muscle of a harsh life to the softer curves of an easier life. Add in a pregnancy and the effects of that, she finds herself in the curious position of not having the stamina to not be sucking wind. "When," she tries again, "we find the barrels, we might have to do this in stages, because if night falls and we're still rolling barrels, someone's going to know something is up and then there will be dragon riders combing the hills." Yes. Looking for her. "I'm fine. Just… tired." She's not about to admit that this is prime nap time and Rukbat's light is sucking the energy out of her. Attempting to prove it, she pulls back from fall of rock she'd been leaning against to peer over the edge of the trailhead. Here it's almost a sheer cliff, dropping down, down, down below into thick jungle. "A little farther up. Does that look like a possible cave opening to you?" Without waiting for a reply, she starts back up the trail. At one point, the sheer cliff disappears as land flattens out and the mountain becomes wider here. Slowly, they advance on what is either an opening or a shadow in the rock.

For the first time, concern reflects in hazel eyes when Ksenia shows signs of being winded. “You want to take a re…” but before she can complete the sentence, the woman is off again. “Maybe like you said,” Prymelia begins going after her companion, “we can just note where it is for today and see if there’s somewhere Issa might land and then we can come back tomorrow and pick up the haul.” Still dragging that basket along with her, the redhead pauses to first step right up to the edge of the cliff and peer over and then up ahead to where Ksenia indicates. “Oh yes, I think we might be almost there!” Excitement swipes away any niggling comments of caution coming from her dragon. “How will you explain to the Weyrleade…Cha’el where you found them? Oh. Did I ever tell you that I met him once back in Igen the first time I was searched. This bitchy greenrider that searched me just dumped me on his ledge. Like I was supposed to know him or something.” This all said as, being careful to keep to the rock edge of the winding path, she follows behind Ksenia.

"Maybe a little rest," Ksenia states, when she realizes that that opening is far enough away that not matter how eager they are to get there, it's not as close as it looks. The trailhead switchbacks through the mountains, so they've got another candlemark at least before getting there. Already, the expectation is falling a little wide of the mark. "We can peruse the picnic basket you've got," the woman notes with a wide smile as she settles down on a patch of grass with a groan of relief. Slipping off her shoe, she rubs at one of her ankles. "You did?" Tawny eyes go wide as she waits for Prymelia to settle and crack open that basket of goodies. "They just dumped you on his ledge?" If possible that gets even more of a shocked expression from the woman. Although it's followed soon after with a wave of her hand. "I don't intend to tell him anything if I can help it. The booze is a gift, see. I've also paid for some good Igen alcohol from another man capable of getting rare stuff. So it'll go into a whole gift I want to present to him. It's just taking longer than expected to collect it all. But since I can't drink it right now, he can cool his heels." She slips her shoe back on and finally stops talking long enough to give Prymelia a bright smile. "I'm glad I met you, girlie. Cause if I hadn't, I would just be dodging Jo like an errant child. This is much more fun." Now! Time for lunch!

Following her companion’s example, Prymelia sinks down to the patch of grass and settles the basket between them. Flipping the supplied blanket back off the top, that bottle of wine she’d been carrying is revealed as is a tin of soft, pillowy marshmallows, a small wooden trinket box and a pot of beautifully scented hand cream. Although truly grateful for the personalized gifts, the weyrling wrinkles her nose apologetically. “I uh…I don’t think it was mean to be a picnic for hiking.” No shit, Sherlock. “Marshmallows?” The little tin is lifted up and held out to Ksenia and then she shrugs. “Aye. I think the greenrider thought I was someone else. But Cha’el was very nice and after he got dressed,” what? “He gave me a lift back down to the bowl again.” Eyeing that bottle of wine, she’s about to begin uncorking it when the other woman reminds that she’s unable to drink anything alcoholic just now. Politeness insists that Prymelia not do so either and so its once again returned to the basket unmolested. “He must either really like his booze or he was really angry with all the trouble you’re going to.” She goes on to note of the gift being put together for the Weyrleader. Warm the smile sent her impromptu lunch date. “Thank you. For this. I really needed it. You’ve just saved me from an awful hangover.”

Ksenia shrugs and laughs. "We can still eat the marshmallows!" Brightly stated with nary a hint of disgruntled desires, she leans in to grab one of the soft marshmallows and sinks her teeth into it. Her motion is arrested when Prymelia gets to part of her story, as tawny eyes widen in surprise. "Why would someone dump you on his ledge? Who did he think you were? Who was this greenrider?" Because all of these facts are a necessity when one is as curious of a kitten as Ksenia is, but her curiosity doesn't prevent her from eating that marshmallow! "You can drink and screw your whole life, Prymelia." Maybe she did absorb some of Cha'el's lecture, "But how often can you go into the jungles looking for twenty-five turn old mountain man liquor? I've heard it named white lightning!! Some people will pay dearly for this!"

Plucking a marshmallow out of the tin, the path of her hand toward her mouth is arrested by the question Ksenia puts to her. “Buggered if I know. I never did get the whole story. This guy….C’aravan…K’evin….Cave’man,” a hand flips, “something like that, wasn’t much of a conversationalist. All he said when he searched was that he was saving me from the fate of my arranged marriage. Though how he knew that, is anyone’s guess.” Curioser and curioser. A laugh greets the other woman’s next. “I was just feeling sorry for myself. BUT, thanks to you, I’ve been reminded that there’s more to life than those that don’t bother to show up for you.” Finally that marshmallow makes it into Prymelia’s mouth, a quiet moan of pure enjoyment for the soft pillow of love slips out. “White lightning? There’s this bronzerider that was talking about something similar the other day in the baths. At least I think it was the same. I wasn’t really listening, I was too busy lifting his flask. Which probably saved him because I think the booze is starting to pickle his brain. Real cute but not quite all there you know?” That observed with a twirl of finger near her temple.

"K'vvan," Ksenia supplies, thoughtful. "Huh." Beat. "I've come to determine that Igenites are a strange, rude lot that don't understand the valuable meaning of boundaries and also don't understand the mean of get out of my home." Momentarily, the trader woman's cheeks flush with remembered ire, but she ducks her head and demurely takes another bite of her marshmallow. Prymelia's words on another rider and his flask garner the trader's attention with the brief flick of her eyes, curiosity burbling within her gaze. "So he's dull-witted?" All banter aside, this woman will take Prymelia's words to heart and really consider that the weyrling is talking about a crazy man. "Or is he really crazy? Because if he's really crazy, you need to do something about that. That could be dangerous to someone." For the first time, an idea or thought germinates in the fertile ground of her thoughts. "I could speak to Cha'el about that. Crazy people are not to be trusted!" This statement is adamantly made just before shoving the rest of the marshmallow down the hatch. Cheeks puff out with chewing, although she busies her hands with quickly braiding her hair as the mass is thick and long and entirely too heavy for hiking in the jungle. The late afternoon sun is beginning to dip towards the mountain peaks, although it's hard to tell from inside the jungle, but there's no way they're making it back before dark. This hasn't occurred to Ksenia given her easy demeanor. The jungle sounds surround them, though slowly but surely things start to hush. Far enough away to be faint but close enough to be heard, a rustling sound sweeps towards the girls. Innocuous, it's as if something's tromping through the bushes.

“That’s the one!” Prymelia declares with a snap of fingers and then lends the other woman a careful look. “I’m from Igen.” She reminds and then tilts her head. “Wait. Someone wouldn’t leave your home? That’s rude! And when you need to attack with a broom or is that how you wound up breaking Cha’el’s booze collection?” When questioned about the sanity of the rider she’d mentioned in conjunction with white lightning, the weyrling produces a crooked grin. “Well, he was singing loudly about leather duckies but he was probably just drunk. I doubt they’d give the weyrlings a mentor that wasn’t really right in the head.” So clearly she’d been teasing. Another marshmallow is delicately plucked up and popped into her mouth, the shifting sounds of the jungle only just registering along the periphery of her awareness. “Shall we see if we can find the cave?” She asks of Ksenia for now that she has her own weyr, she no longer has to report back by a certain time.

"Someday," when Ksenia knows her better, as she doesn't just start regurgitating the story of W'rin and his debacle, especially since it goes back to Cha'el and his bad choices, "I'll tell you the whole story, but you can be the exception to the rule." She beams, adding, "Besides, you're not angry or bitchy or pissy or any number of male — maybe it's just the men who have this penchant. Anyway," a hand is waved airily, quite like a queen at court, "I've begged for a door to be added. It will give me satisfying glee to slam that door in the faces of those that would push into my home!" And that, you see, is that! "Yes, lets." Pushing to her feet with a soft and subtle groan, she stretches with hands pressed to the small of her back. The rustling is still far off — or is it? She is a grown woman that has no curfew, per se, except one very over-protective weyrmate. With the canopy so thick this side of the river, not even Sikorth would be able to pierce the green veil. Well, of course, there's always Issaeryth, sitting out pretty as you please! "Let's go—" This would be the point that things start to devolve further down the pathway as something large and feathery and aggressive as hell and scary as fuck bursts from the foliage and onto the trail. With a startling cry, the large wherry — Southern's wherries, like their felines, are larger than the northern continents. More aggressive and more feral — starts barreling up the pathway towards them. The cave is a good little jaunt from where they held their picnic — but with the shattering cry splitting the air, it's safe to say the picnic is donefor! They can only hope to get to the cave without getting eaten.

Prymelia can smell a juicy story from a dragonlength away so when there is promise of one to come sometime in the future, a wide grin breaks free and she waves her third marshmallow (What? They’re GOOD!) in the direction of the other woman’s baby bump. “Perhaps once you’re no longer a teetotaler.” Because all the best stories go with booze. “A door?” Amusement strikes through as the weyrling stands, dusts her butt off and takes up her basket, tucking the blanket in neatly over the items within. And then all hell breaks loose. Being trained to fight Thread and be a brave warrior of the skies is one thing but facing an enormous feathery sharp clawed and beaked predator? Quite another!! “FARANTH’S ARSE!! That’s a….that’s a……RUN!!” And just in case Ksenia might be a little slow in getting the message, Prymelia will make a grab for her hand and drag her behind her if she has to. “ISSAERYYYYYYTH!!!!” She totally didn’t scream. That was an Amazonian yell for help. Mmmhmm.

Let's be real here. Ksenia isn't the quickest tool in the toolbox when it comes to people yelling at her to run. "What…?" In the second before Prymelia is galvanized to action, a thought flashes behind Ksenia's eyes in wonder as if all dragon rider's are given to bouts of insanity where they thrash and yell for people to run. It doesn't matter that the last time this happened, there's a serious reason that ended with someone getting knifed. This all happens in the space of one or two seconds, before her hand is caught and the feathered creature of doom is glimpsed. "Oh shit!!" This is gasped at the moment she's lurched forward, all air driven into her lungs to fuel the energy stored in muscles that push the trader's bones forward in sudden motion. "Faranth! Wherries?!" Scrambling, the pathway leads them towards the cave which sits on the edge of the river lands, where the jungle gives way to flatter landscapes, but it's a sheer drop off to get to those flatter lands. The cave beckons and so it is there that Ksenia will head, now practically pushing Prymelia along the paths. Exertion flushes cheeks and wheezes breath through her open mouth as pregnancy has forced congestion to her nose. So it's with an open mouth panting that Prymelia will hear as they run. "Almost…" The wherry is hot on their heels, but luckily the large predator was far enough away that the girls got a good headstart. Ksenia stumbles, but rights herself with a fearful look behind her. Right now? Totally wishing she had her bow and arrows. And maybe a Cha'el. Maybe. "Can," huff, puff, wheeze, "your," wheeze, huff, puff, "dragon… get… here….?"

The moment the weyrling’s panicked scream/Amazonian yell *cough* had gone out, a roar of fury had erupted from lower down in the jungle where they’d left Issaeryth. It sounds again from the air, closer and with a splintering of vegetation as the low flying green’s tail slashes across the tops of it. « Die you ignoble beast!! » Hiss, spit, growl, CLACK, go razor sharp teeth catching nothing but air given that the young dragon can’t actually get IN to where the wherries are. When Ksenia stumbles, Prymelia almost goes down with her but she refuses to give up either her basket or the death grip she has on her new friend’s hand. Knees are saved but she twists an ankle and winds up doing a weird sort of hobble-hop-run thing. “She’s coming.” The weyrling pants, breath in shorter supply due to the surge of adrenaline rather than over exertion. “We just need to get…to the…cave.”

Ksenia helps where she can, to get Prymelia to the cave in the most hobbling run ever. She can feel the flush of exertion riding high in her cheeks and the patter of her heart in rapid staccato, which can only mean one thing. No, no, no, she can't go all fainting sheep. Not now! It's with sheer grit and determination that she hangs onto everything they've got, getting scratches on her arms and legs as they run pell mell towards the cave. One branch slaps her in the face, creating a welt across the smoothness of one cheek. "Almost…" And then they're there! The wherry can hear the dragon and pauses long enough to flutter and stab it's beak in the green's direction, but realizing that it's safe, takes off after the girls again. The darkness of the cave is welcomed, although Ksenia rushes into it without even thinking of critters possibly making this place their den. The scent of dry earth and damp stone assaults the senses, as well as the hint of treated wood. Barrels can be seen where the sunlight cascades in, Rukbat's descent behind the mountains shattering her last light through the green canopy and the opening that expands onto the lower river lands that lie so far down below them. "We… we found it." Momentary pause as Ksenia wheezes, struggling to draw breath into her lungs. "Is it… are we… safe?!" This is questioned of Prymelia as the sounds of the wherries cries of rage and the thundering sound of it's steps drift towards them. It's coming for them!

Hobble-dashing into the cave, Prymelia lets go of Ksenia’s hand and reaching into the basket, whips out the bottle of wine, brandishing it in front of her like a weapon should a wherry be stupid enough to step out into the open. She hasn’t seen the barrels yet. “I’M GONNA ROAST YOU ON A FIRE AND EAT YOU, STUPID WHERRIES!!” She yells full of bravado and then squeaks when one suddenly rushes forward. Stumbling backwards further into the cave to fall square on her butt, Prymelia is a few shades paler, hazel eyes wide in her dirt smeared face. But just as the huge creature shoves its head in to where the girls are, it’s suddenly plucked away with a shriek from the enraged green now able to get to it. A vicious shake and the wherry falls dead from the sky and lands in a crumpled heap at the entrance to the cave. Two more join it before the others, a little slow to catch on, scatter and run. “They…they’re gone. Issa…” Breath catches in what might be a sob of relief. “Issa got them.” Just then, the fading light of day is cut when a shadow much larger than those that had chased them, lands at the mouth of the cave, a rumbling croon of worry reverberating inwards. Gathering her wits about her, the weyrling scrambles to her feet. “Ksenia? Are you okay?” Worry thick in the redhead’s voice.

With Prymelia wielding a weapon, Ksenia is not to be outdone here! When one doesn't have a weapon, one makes a weapon! This is how she ends up flinging her shoes at the creature's head, until the thing rushes for them and both girls fall on their butts. "THAT'S RIGHT YOU FEATHERED BEAST!!" she yells, face flushed with fear and anger and worry and all of those emotions that make the heart jump into the throat and get the adrenaline surging through the body. Forgive her for letting out a startled yelp when the first wherry meets it's death at the talons of the green dragon. She's not exactly well versed in the ways that dragons can hunt and kill, having never even seen Sikorth… hunt. Eyes wide with fright, the woman crab-crawls backwards until every wherry is dead and silence rings like a deafening drum in her ears. Prymelia's voice echoes like it's coming from a long corridor that gets further and further away, but with a tenacity that gets teeth grinding together, she clings to consciousness. Mulish is the expression that crosses her features as all color drains away. She will not faint on her newfound friend! "I'm fine, I'm fine." But she's not fine. So clearly she's not fine. With a sudden lurch to her feet, shoulders heave and she presses both hands to her mouth. This would be the moment that she skirts the green weyrling, runs through the cave's opening, trods barefoot through blood, and throws up in the bushes. The edges of that white skirt turn rust for the gore that she just ran through to get to the bushes. But hey! The cave, at least, won't stink like vomit!

Having crossed over to where Ksenia had scrambled back against a barrel – those still aren’t registering for what they are – Prymelia gets a GOOD look at the ashen-faced woman before she lurches to her feet and stumbles out of the cave. Issaeryth is quick to give her first passenger – cue the internal draconic wriggle for that – space to get out and then hovers crooning worriedly as she proceeds to throw up even going so far as to try and carefully catch that thick braid of cherry black with her maw to hold it out of the way but it keeps escaping the green’s attempts. Hopefully Ksenia doesn’t think Issaeryth is trying to eat her. “Ksenia? Sweetie?” Prymelia slips in beside her gently shoving her anxious lifemate’s groping maw away. “I think we need to get you home, aye? Before the felines scent the blood and come in to feast on the carcasses.”

Luckily, Ksenia is more concerned with hurling up the contents of her stomach than what the dragon is trying to do (omg eat her!!!), which is actually really sweet. This will just endear her later (when she's got time to mull it over) to the green pair. "I'm fine, I'm fine," she gasps, pressing her hands to her stomach as she slowly straightens. "I think I just… it's just… sometimes the morning sickness hits me harder after a sudden rush of…" But that thought is pushed aside as the woman 'rounds on Prymelia, the sparkle back in her eye and the life once more suffusing honey'd complexion. "We found them!! Did you see?!" Even Issaeryth is included in this glee, but it's short-lived as the last of the afternoon's warmth starts to give way to evening's shadows. It's aways quickest at that point where afternoon slips to dusk, where it feels like Rukbat's journey slides in double-time to the horizon. "Faranth. You're right, we need to get back." But not because she's sick; a pointed look for her new friend whom she doesn't want thinking she's a weakling. "But because we gotta keep this a secret, girlie, until we can get those barrels out. At least we now have a faster way to get here, yes yes?" Barefoot with blood painting her feet and the hem of her white skirt, and with tears along the vibrant blue of the shirt she's wearing, complete with the scratches and that one across her cheek — Ksenia looks more like a hoyden than not. "And you! Prymelia, your foot!" She bites her lip, "You think you need a healer?" Is that a shifty-eye of healer aversion right there?!

“Aye, you’re lucky you didn’t faint.” Prymelia finishes off the sentence for her newfound friend. “After getting such a fright and all that running. You should eat something sweet. Oh. There’s still some marshmallows…left…” Blink! Slowly what Ksenia is saying filters in and glancing over her shoulder, the weyrling truly LOOKS at the wooden barrels shadowed in the belly of the cave. “Oh.My. WE’RE RICH!!” She declares delivering a thousand watt grin that could rival Rukbat. “I can finally replace my clothes and my lingerie and oh, maybe even buy some fabric for…” Quickly she catches herself babbling and blushes rosily. “Sorry. Yes. I reckon we could probably take two a day? We can put them in my weyr if you like? It’s not very big but I don’t have any furniture so there’s plenty of space.” - « Babbling again. » Issaeryth dryly points out. – “Sorry. I’m doing it again, aren’t I?” Only when Ksenia points out that she’s favoring her left foot does the weyrling glance downward and wrinkle her nose. “Balls! Listen, if anyone asks? We were scrubbing my weyr and I fell over a bucket, okay? You can’t tell K’ane or T’ral what really happened or they’ll ground us and take away my knot and Issa is ever so proud of it.” Holding up a hand she crooks her baby finger. “Pinkie swear?”

"Oh, I won't be telling K'ane anything." Ksenia doesn't really know T'ral, but she nods her head all the same. "And you cannot breathe a word of this to Cha'el. Faranth, the man would wrap me in blankets and lock me in the weyr if he could." She grips tight to the pinky swear and flashes a quick, feral grin that speaks of all the mischief and mayhem the two of them will get into together in the coming turns. "What the men in our lives don't know, won't hurt them!! You fell over a bucket and we had a small mishap with some shelves," to explain the scratches, "I've found the simpler the story, the easier it is to mask what really happened." With the bob of her head, she starts tugging Prymelia towards Issaeryth, "But we gotta get back to the weyr." Because the sun has gone down, and the moons have come up, and that means that she'll be explaining to someone exactly why she's getting home so late. "I would actually," because this point is germane to the conversation, "Like to see your weyr sometime." Somewhat shyly offered after all the vibrancy and boisterousness of the day, it's as sincere as anything else. "Now! Let's go!"

“Girl, he’s my boss’s boss. I sure as shit am not about to have myself stuck mucking the new weyrlings’ couches just because we had a bit of fun while discovering barrels of liquid marks.” Pinky swear fiercely sworn in the grip of delicate digits, Prymelia winks, wicked glee dancing in hazel depths. “What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.” The weyrling agrees giving Ksenia’s hand a little pat. “Right, let me just get my basket and then we can go.” Off she goes, back in a trice with her basket which is carefully attached to strapping. “You would?” Surprise reflects in her tone. “I would like that. Very much.” Warm and a little retiring the smile that appears. In short order, the pair of women are perched upon Issaeryth’s sturdy green neck and they’re winging their way back to the Weyr careful to come in from the rivercliffs side where Prymlia’s weyr is located. Dropping Ksenia off in the bowl, a short turn is made passed by the bathing caverns and then….home. Their home. Their first night on their own as dragon and rider.

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